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How long do Motor Reloads last ? ? ?

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DMcCauley

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So after returning to the hobby after 8 years - I checked my explosives magazine and found I have almost 100 Aerotech reloads that were never used. I have G, H, I, J, Ks, and a few L's.

Are these still good after 8 years, or throwaways at this point?

I know Black Powder will last nearly forever, but not sure about the composite propellant.
 

noffie79

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As long as they've been kept dry, they will still be good. I've heard of people using motors that are 20-25 years old without a problem.
 

Zeus-cat

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The propellant absorbs moisture so don't open the package until you want to use it. For three packs of motors you can put the unused ones in a good zip lock style bag and even throw in some desiccant if you have some.
 

CzTeacherMan

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As long as they've been kept dry, they will still be good. I've heard of people using motors that are 20-25 years old without a problem.
Ditto... You can check by seeing if any of the propellant grains have swelled up.
 

pnobile

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I flew a Vulcan F80 Smokey Sam yesterday, it was dated from 1991. Worked perfectly. I have several more Vulcan and Aerotech motors that are dated from the 1980's, which out of the ones I've flown have had no issues.

Preston
 

djs

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Disagree with everyone- these motors are junk, and you should send to me for proper disposal :)

More seriously, the biggest problem you might have is oxidation on the grains (esp if they are white lightning loads). Before flying them, sand some of the surfaces just a little bit to help them light.
 

Charles_McG

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My Elder Spawn flew an old AT F12-5 yesterday. We encountered the infamous delay bonus - about 8 sec. shredded the chute, but the rest of the QCC made it down ok.

I have flown Es of the same vintage without issue.
 

dhbarr

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For slot burners, a baby emery board is juuuust right. I'd try to do electronic deployment or replace the delays for any reload where either the grains or the delay aren't sealed away from each other.
 
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Trident

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I flew some 24mm (E18W) and 29mm (G64W) Aerotech reloads from the early 90s, at NSL in May. They were White Lightning, which I knew could be a little tougher to light. I roughed up the propellant in the slots, and used a hot igniter. I also replaced the delay kits to be safe.

They worked just fine.
 

DMcCauley

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Cool. Thanks for all the great advice.

Now to figure out what to fly on this sweet J1999 motor I have. I'd love to fit in an Estes Big Daddy.

I did fly an Estes Big Daddy with an H999 before - successfully I might add.
 

Woody's Workshop

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Cool. Thanks for all the great advice.

Now to figure out what to fly on this sweet J1999 motor I have. I'd love to fit in an Estes Big Daddy.

I did fly an Estes Big Daddy with an H999 before - successfully I might add.
Have you heard of the Jolly Logic Chute Release?
This would be great for that flight of your Big Daddy!
 

3stoogesrocketry

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Cool. Thanks for all the great advice.

Now to figure out what to fly on this sweet J1999 motor I have. I'd love to fit in an Estes Big Daddy.

I did fly an Estes Big Daddy with an H999 before - successfully I might add.
The J1999 is decertified so you can only fly it at a ex launch . They had a real bad habbit of turning into a J1999999999999 .

Eric
 

soopirV

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The J1999 is decertified so you can only fly it at a ex launch . They had a real bad habbit of turning into a J1999999999999 .

Eric
CATO or successful burn just dropping all the NS at once? Maybe there's not really a difference there, now that I think about it...
 

dhbarr

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CATO or successful burn just dropping all the NS at once? Maybe there's not really a difference there, now that I think about it...
The difference between a successful launch and a CATO is a matter of timing.
--sooperIV
 

caveduck

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On a contrary note, I've had to discard a number of 20-ish year old AT WL loads - the packaging was not well sealed and the propellant (which is definitely hygroscopic) had taken on so much moisture that the slots were swollen shut.
 

markkoelsch

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CATO or successful burn just dropping all the NS at once? Maybe there's not really a difference there, now that I think about it...
Cato- in epic fashion. The motor was tuned down a bit to a J1799 if memory serves.

I am not so sure you should fly it at all.
 

blackjack2564

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Do NOT fly that J-1999..remember the drag race at LDRS that used those guys? Every single rocket [including mine] blew up spec-tac-u-lar! They were recalled. Find a decent dealer and you may even be able to trade it for the replacement version.

Fly it & almost a certainty you will destroy whatever it's in.

Others have answered old motor usage. Most propellents are fine. White and red will absorb moisture & swell if you live in high humidity climate. Even then with some work you can usually light them . The REAL problem is delays chemical degrading over time. If flying with altimeters your fine. Motor eject ...any discolored or marbleized forget about it!

When in doubt, you can always fly iffy reloads in saucers ....blow one of those up and you don't really lose much...lol
 

djs

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Do NOT fly that J-1999..remember the drag race at LDRS that used those guys? Every single rocket [including mine] blew up spec-tac-u-lar! They were recalled.
Now you're making me want to try it, in a "don't touch the hot stove" sorta way. Fly the motor that even Crazy Jim won't fly?!? You betcha! :)
 

terryg

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Contact Aerotech and swap out the recalled J-1999 for the reliable J-1799, which still has a lot of punch.
 

mrwalsh85

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The J1999 is decertified so you can only fly it at a ex launch . They had a real bad habbit of turning into a J1999999999999 .

Eric
Wouldn't the manufacturer need to be there? I didn't think it was fair game to just fly a decert'd motor at a EX launch. Pretty much why I haven't touched my F55's and G55's and G110's
 

Steve Shannon

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Wouldn't the manufacturer need to be there? I didn't think it was fair game to just fly a decert'd motor at a EX launch. Pretty much why I haven't touched my F55's and G55's and G110's
Maybe you're thinking of manufacturer demo flights. There's no extra requirements involved in flying expired certification motors at research launches.
Now a motor that has had its certification stripped as a result of a safety related problem may not be flown at all, but that's not the case here.
 

djs

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Maybe you're thinking of manufacturer demo flights. There's no extra requirements involved in flying expired certification motors at research launches.
Just for clarification- if you're flying an F motor with an expired certification, do you have to be a Tripoli L2 to fly it as a research motor?

I did this for a friend of mine who was flying an old Centuri motor a few weeks ago.. I was the flyer of record, even though the motor was a B. Not sure that was necessary, especially since the staging didn't go right, and the motor didn't even light :)
 

Steve Shannon

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My understanding of the Research Safety Code is that you must be a Tripoli member to fly an expired certification motor at a Research launch, but that you don't have to be L2 unless you're flying a Research Motor or Commercial Motor Approved for Research Use Only.
See section 3.2.2 and its subsections, and 7.4 and its subsections.
 

Charles_McG

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Oh, it lit fine. But the booster motor mount glue failed and the whole mount was spit, instead of stage separation.
 

djs

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Oh, it lit fine. But the booster motor mount glue failed and the whole mount was spit, instead of stage separation.
How do you know I'm not talking about someone else who flew a Centuri B4-7 on a staged rocket a few weeks ago?
 
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